Coloradans pride themselves on the quality of their drinking water, most of which originates high up in the Rocky Mountains. But many communities on the Eastern plains have water that not only tastes bad, it’s out of compliance with federal drinking water standards.
Many diners at the J and L Cafe in downtown Sterling are sipping on glasses of tap water as they enjoy lunch on this December morning. That was not the case just a year ago.
The Environmental Protection Agency and public health officials held open meetings Tuesday to talk with residents in the south Pueblo neighborhoods listed as a Superfund site in December. KRCC’s Shanna Lewis reports.
The EPA eventually wants to test soil samples around some 1900 homes. Previous testing found toxic lead and arsenic levels around the site of the former Colorado Smelter, which closed in 1908.
Governor John Hickenlooper spoke in support of Fort Carson Tuesday at a listening session in Colorado Springs. The forum comes as the Army looks to reduce its numbers of active-duty soldiers by at least 40,000.
The reductions could impact up to 16,000 personnel at Fort Carson. The listening session was one of 30 being held across Army bases aimed at providing input to the Pentagon before any decisions are made.
Governor Hickenlooper said Colorado has a long, proud history with the military, and provides training and support that is unique.
As the wife of an Army Colonel, Angela Ricketts knows firsthand the effects of war on the families of those who serve. In her acclaimed debut book, No Man's War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife, she offers a behind-the-scenes look at the sacrifices made and the hardships endured by soldiers' spouses and children, and provides a rare glimpse into the tight-knit, sometimes insular community of military families. Hampton Sides, bestselling author of In The Kingdom of Ice, Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers, spoke with Ricketts about her book.
Democratic lawmakers in Colorado recently introduced a measure to allow terminally ill patients to take medication to end their lives. The patients must be given a prognosis from two different physicians giving them less than six months to live.
Why do supporters say it’s the compassionate choice?
Who strongly opposes it?
Bente Birkeland discusses the proposal with statehouse reporters.
After more than 200 episodes and nearly five years, Kathryn Eastburn has decided to retire The Middle Distance. It has been a pleasure to work with Kathryn, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors, whatever they may be. If you've enjoyed reading/hearing her column over the years, we hope you'll join us in thanking her in the comment section below.
A bill to require background checks for volunteers and employees of youth sports clubs failed to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Opponents said the measure had too many gaps in it. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
In Colorado, roughly 6 million children play in youth sports clubs, ranging from soccer and baseball to swimming and basketball. Supporters say these sports clubs attract sexual predators because of lax standards.
A new study on the Colorado River estimates the Basin would lose almost two-thirds of its economic value were the waterway to run dry. KRCC’s Dana Cronin reports.
Researchers at Arizona State University found the Colorado River system accounts for more than 1.4 trillion dollars in economic activity and provides nearly 16 million jobs. In Colorado, that would mean a loss of nearly 200 billion dollars of economic activity and 2 million jobs.
UPDATE: 01/29/15, 9:41 AM: CSFD released official details of the fire last night. It burned a total of 5.92 acres, with five agencies responding: Colorado Springs Fire Department, Colorado Springs Utilities Wildland Team, El Paso County Wildland Team, Pike National Forest Fire, Broadmoor Fire Rescue.
UPDATE: 01/27/15, 5:29 PM: CSFD spokesman Captain Steve Oswald says a juvenile's misuse of a lighter caused the fire.
Colorado’s new Republican Senate majority flexed their muscles last week at the state capitol. They used their power on the joint budget committee to defund a 2013 law allowing people in the country illegally to obtain a state driver’s license. They also struck down a bill to harmonize Colorado’s civil unions law with a gay marriage ban that was deemed unconstitutional by the 10th circuit court of appeals. They also struck down a commission looking pay equity between men and women.
Tune in to KRCC Sunday, January 25 at 5 PM for a special one-hour call-in Connecting the Drops program focusing on the State Water Plan.
The plan looks to find a way to meet the state’s growing water needs. But what does it mean for different stakeholders? Joining us for a state wide discussion on the Colorado Water Plan are James Eklund, Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Jim Pokrandt with the Colorado River Water Conservation District and Chris Woodka with the Pueblo Chieftain will be our guests, and your calls will be welcome at 800-737-3030.
Republicans at the state capitol defeated a bill on Wednesday that sought to clean up and harmonize the state’s civil unions and gay marriage laws. Lawmakers said they wanted to wait and see how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the issue this summer. Bente Birkeland has more.
Governor John Hickenlooper said he was intentionally vague at times during his annual state of the state address, which he delivered to the legislature on Thursday. He recently sat down to discuss his speech and what it means for the year ahead with statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland.
Governor Hickenlooper on the Constitutional Conflicts between TABOR, Amendment 23 and Gallagher
This cold January, Mama keeps the heat cranked up to 73 and only goes outside to put out the mail. She’s down to less than 90 pounds, her weight about the same as her age, but she still glides around on her little cat feet from chore to chore, all day long, every day. By the time I get up in the morning she has already unloaded the dishwasher, brought in the newspaper and read it, made the coffee and warmed up the biscuits.
El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn has announced he will run for U.S. Senate in 2016. The Republican cites issues like the economy, immigration, and veterans issues as among his main concerns. In a statement, Glenn said his early announcement shows he’s committed to the time and networking necessary to create what he’s calling a “comprehensive strategic plan.”
Glenn has served on the Colorado Springs City Council and was recently elected to a second term as a commissioner.
Democrat Michael Bennet currently holds the senate seat.
State lawmakers are mostly holding off on introducing energy related bills this session. While oil and gas development is a hot topic, legislators are waiting for a report from the Governor’s Oil and Gas Task Force. The task force is holding meetings this week in Greeley and is charged with crafting recommendations to help mitigate the impacts of drilling to communities and harmonize local and state regulations. The group has held hearings across the state and the final meeting is next month.
Governor John Hickenlooper was sworn into office Tuesday for his second term. The ceremony took place on a chilly morning outside the west steps of the state capitol. Several hundred people gathered to watch Hickenlooper along with other statewide elected officials take the oath of office.
Colorado’s legislative session opened last week. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland discusses the beginning of the session with other political reporters, and touches on some of the bills that were introduced during opening week.
The little sorrel mare plunges joyfully through the powdery drifts, like a carousel horse freed from its pole. Her shaggy winter coat is frosted with snow and when she pauses at the hilltop, she snorts steam and her sides heave with the effort. Yet, she tugs at the reins, seems eager to push on.
But not yet.
The view from here needs to be savored – silvery snow and dark evergreens are cast against the blue-jay sky over the Rocky Mountains near Granby.
Investigators have released a sketch of a man they say is connected to an explosion outside a building that includes the offices of the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP.
The man is described as white, around 40 years old, and balding. Investigators say he was in the area at the time of the bombing and appeared to have carried something down an alley and returned to his truck empty handed.
Special Agent Thomas Ravenelle heads the FBI Denver field office and says they’re still not speculating on motive.
The plan was to fly, but at the last minute I decided to drive instead. I’d set aside a month to visit my mother on the Texas Gulf coast over Christmas and into the new year, and I reasoned it would be good to have my car for the month in Galveston, if the mechanic deemed it roadworthy for the 2,500-mile round trip.
El Paso County Public Health officials say someone who traveled to Colorado Springs last month has tested positive for measles. The case may be connected to nine other measles cases in two other states where the patients visited Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park in mid-December.